A countywide primary election may be held in May as two Republican candidates seek the nomination to challenge a longtime municipal court judge in the general election.
A primary may also be held for the office of Springfield Mayor, according to the Clark County Board of Elections.
If all candidate petitions are certified, the primary will be held May 5, said Director Matthew Tlachac.
Clark County Municipal Court Judge Gene Nevius, a Democrat, is running for his sixth straight term. Two Republicans — Springfield resident Daniel Carey and New Carlisle resident Brian Driscoll — may vie for the chance to oppose Nevius in the Nov. 3 general election.
Incumbent Clark County Municipal Court Judge Thomas Trempe is running unopposed for his seat. He was elected in 2003 and last ran unopposed in 2009.
Incumbent Mayor Warren Copeland could be challenged by Springfield residents Sam Doyle, William Moon and Fred Stegner. In the other city commission race, incumbent Kevin O’Neill may be challenged for his seat by Springfield resident Rev. Linda Sue Stampley.
BOE staff will review petitions to make sure they meet the qualifications under the statutes or charter of the municipality, Tlachac said. Action will likely be taken Tuesday.
Nevius, 61, was appointed a municipal court judge in 1981 and was elected for the first time in 1985. He’s since won five consecutive six-year terms and is one of the longest-tenured judges in Ohio. The state constitution says no one over the age of 70 can run for judge, meaning Nevius can serve one more term in office, if elected.
“I think that we’ve provided a good quality of justice during that time and that I still have a few more good years left in me,” Nevius said.
Carey, 51, is an Assistant Prosecutor at the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office and the younger brother of Clark County Probate Court Judge Richard Carey. A North High School graduate, Daniel Carey served for 24 years in private practice before joining the prosecutor’s office eight years ago.
“I think I have a good feel for the strengths and weaknesses (of the community) and the issues that bring people to court,” Daniel Carey said.
Driscoll, 38, is also an Assistant Prosecutor at the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office. A Tecumseh High School graduate, Driscoll began practicing law in 2001 before joining the prosecutor’s office in 2005.
“I believe that I’m qualified for the position,” Driscoll said. “I love serving this community. It’s where I grew up. … It’s just a furtherance of serving this community as a municipal court judge.”
Copeland, a Wittenberg University professor, has served on the city commission since 1988. In 2003, he became the first directly elected mayor in the city and was re-elected in both 2007 and 2011, running unopposed in election.
Stegner, 66, owns and operates the Springfield Soup Kitchen, 830 W. Main St. He served in the Navy in the Vietnam War and later served as a consultant for IBM.
Moon, a 40-year-old North High School graduate, works at a pharmaceutical company in Columbus.
Doyle, 20, graduated from Springfield High School in 2013.
O’Neill, who currently serves as Assistant Mayor, has been elected to six consecutive terms on the city commission since 1992. He beat challenger Richard Spangler in 2011. A local businessman and developer, O’Neill owns McMurray’s Irish Pub and North Point subdivision.
Stampley is the organizer of the Groovy Grannies, a local group of peaceful protesters who recently expressed a desire for a civil oversight committee to help keep local police accountable.
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